McDowell Media’s Skype Call to Australia

Between the months of August and December, McDowell Media participated in the Student Blogging Challenge.  The Student Blogging challenge led us to a lot of fun activities and awesome opportunities.  One of those awesome opportunities included a Skype call to Kathleen Morris!  If you didn’t know, Kathleen Morris is the leader of the Student Blogging Challenge.  Kathleen is also a tech coach in a new Australian school.  McDowell Media’s writers were given an opportunity to Skype with Kathleen and her 1st grade class in Australia.  During that Skype call, we asked questions back and forth.  We learned that Australian students, during our winter break, would be on their summer break.  We also learned that the government in Australia allows them to play educational Mine craft during the school day.  While we were learning new things about each other we were also having an amazing time.  McDowell Media would be delighted to have another opportunity like this one.

Down below are some pictures of McDowell Media during the Skype call.





My comment to Alex

For the week 9 blogging challenge I commented on Alex’s blog. I thought his story was super cool! I thought it was interesting how he said he became blind when he was in 9th grade. I also thought it was awesome how Alex didn’t let anything come between him and his dreams!

This is my comment to Alex:

Hey Alex!
Your story is so cool! I think it’s awesome that you didn’t let your disability take over your life.
Your story kind of reminds me of a girl who I am best friends with and her name is Riley. She is blind as well, but she was blind from birth. Riley plays the piano and flute and she is amazing at it! It’s like your story because you don’t let anything come in the way of you and your dreams and that’s awesome.
Sincerely, McKinley
Also come check out my classrooms blog at http://mcdowellmedia.edublogs.org/ !


Christmas traditions

Christmas Celebrations

     At McDowell we get about 2 weeks off of school for Christmas.  During this break I spend time with my family and friends. At my house we have a lot of Christmas traditions.  These include going to see the Zoo Lights, driving around neighborhoods looking at the lights, decorating the house, making Christmas cookies, watching our favorite Christmas movies, playing in the snow, and opening presents with my whole family.
     In addition to all of these wonderful traditions all the kids in my family have a very sneaky and special tradition.  On Christmas morning my brother wakes all the kids up very early. Once he gets us woken up we run downstairs and look at all the presents we got.  After that, we wake up all of the adults and open up our presents together. What time do you wake up on Christmas morning?
      Another tradition we have involves ornaments for the Christmas tree.  Every year my mom lets my sister and I pick out (or make) a special ornament.  Last year during Christmas we made ornaments for my uncle and brother that have passed away.  The ornaments were a great addition to our tree and I hope that we never lose them. Do you have any special ornaments?
     As I said before every Christmas my family and I watch Christmas movies.  One of my family’s favorite movies is “A Christmas Story”. Another one of our favorites are all of the “Home Alone” movies.  Does your family have a favorite Christmas movie?
     Something else that we do around Christmas is go see the zoo lights.  The zoo lights go on for almost the whole month of December and end in the beginning of January.  Last year we were in an exhibit and I got lost.  My mom couldn’t find me and it was really scary.  After a few phone calls we found each other and continued with the zoo lights.
     These are some of the wonderful Christmas traditions that my family and I have.  These have been happening for a couple of years now and I hope that they can keep going.  What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?


Christmas Traditions

Christmas is time is right around the corner! One of the this week task was to write about your celebrations. I decided to write about my Christmas traditions. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and it’s only a few weeks away! On Christmas morning my brothers and I get up super early and go downstairs and look at the Christmas tree before waking my parents up. Once we wake my mom and dad up and they get up and ready, we head downstairs. As soon as we look at the tree, my brothers and I all get so excited. We immediately decide who opens their presents first. It usually ends up where My smallest brother goes first, then my other brother, and then me. I always let them go first every year because they are younger than me, so I let them have a chance before I go!
After we have opened our presents at my house, we go to my grandparents house on my dad’s side. There my aunt is with us when we eat breakfast which is french toast, bacon, eggs, etc. Then we open our presents. Usually my grandma color codes our gifts. It’s a lot of fun!
After we are done celebrating there, we go to my grandparents on my mom’s side of the family and all of my distant cousins come and aunts and uncles. It’s so much fun! We hang out and catch up with each other… Then we eat dinner. It is the best dinner of the year! First we pray, and then we eat turkey and ham, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, and so much more! Once we are done eating, we all open a few little gifts we got for one another. After about an hour later, my distant family leaves. After they leave we go into the living room and open a BUNCH of presents! When I say a bunch, I mean a bunch! Like we have done all day, we take turns opening our gifts right after we pray. Once everyone is finished opening their presents, my 2 brothers and I look for a pickle ornament on the tree. Whoever finds it first, gets to open their big present first. Last year we got bean bag chairs and I got a dressing table! One year I got my first iPod, and another year I got an electric scooter! It is one of my favorite parts of our Christmas traditions.
We leave about 30 minutes later after saying our “thank you’s” and “goodbyes”. Once we get home, we are so eager to play with our new toys we got, but mom and dad says to go to bed… and we do… until my brothers and I know my parents are asleep. Then we get u and tip toe downstairs to play with our presents! This is my Christmas tradition, what is yours? Tell me in the comments!


The Wonderful Snow effects

Hello, you might have noticed some changes around McDowell Media. Well, the changes were made by me and my fellow students to spruce the blog up for winter. This is also for the student blogging challenge with option number three Spice Up Your Blog With Mrs. Vazquez. I myself added the snowing. Snow is a common thing in Ohio during the winter. I got the HTML code for the widget from https://www.kirupa.com/html5/the_falling_snow_effect.htm.

Thank you for reading and please comment, what do you think of the new changes?




Upcoming Choir Concerts at McDowell

This years McDowell’s choir concert is coming up fast! We will be holding a holiday concert on December 12th. The songs we are doing for the holiday concert are: Christmas Time is Here by Lee Mendelson, Winter Wonderland by Michael Buble, My Favorite Things by Oscar Hammerstein III, Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms and Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burnsto to end the concert. My favorite song that we are singing for the Holiday concert is Jingle Bell Rock. What is your favorite Christmas song?
The 2nd concert we are doing is in February for our Winter concert. We haven’t decided all the songs for the Winter concert, but we do know we are singing Wade in da Water by Ramsey Lewis and Sam Cooke and J. W. Alexander. Both of these songs have a smooth flow. Right after the Winter concert is in the Spring. It is our end of the year concert. We don’t know any songs we are doing for the Spring concert, but we have decided it will contain some fun pop music to wrap up the wonderful year!
As I said before, It’s Mcdowell’s choir concert, so that means 7th and 8th grade choir students are both doing the concert together. Both grades learned the same song, but 7th grades way of singing it may not be exactly the same as the 8th grades way of singing the songs. We do this so it sounds more complicated and it twists things up to make it sound graceful at the same time. Ms. Barbieri, our talented choir teacher has also given the students with lower voices the option to sing the harmony and students with higher voices the choice to sing with the melody. I usually sing with the harmony. Tell me in the comments if you sing with the harmony or the melody!
Also, a special thanks to Ms. Barbieri for teaching us so much. She has been so helpful and patient with our class. She has made class educational, but keeps it fun. Plus to all the choir students that make the songs sound so beautiful and committing to the class. I am so excited for the upcoming concerts here at McDowell!


All About Spheros

Recently the technology class has been working with little robots called Spheros. I’m going to educate you on these robots. Spheros can range in how their shaped. They also have different designs for example you have the mini which is little harder to control or you can have the bolt which is the newest one and has a lot more functions like it has a little Led pad that you can program to say messages or have different designs. You can also program them to do for example obstacle courses by either doing regular block coding or you can draw out a path on your phone you want it to take. Though if you’re not a fan of writing code. That is perfectly okay because Spheros also have a drive mode where you can drive however or wherever you want. Now this makes them sound like toys but in reality they are very educational.If you get one and you can teach yourself along with your students. They teach you basic coding which you can expand on and you can move on to become excellent at coding. If you are a teacher they are an excellent way to get your students excited about learning to code. Take my class for example we knew we going to be coding and we weren’t exactly happy about it but when saw we would be coding the robots we were ecstatic. Now we’re coding and we love it because Spheros made it fun.Teacher may even learn something the Spheros you never know. I recommend getting one for more eager and happy students. To sum this up these are just all around useful robots no matter if your in school or out of school or teacher or student these robots are all around extremely useful and educational robots.